It’s Gena! For this post, I wanted to tell you about some of the places on campus that I love the most. Different places serve different functions, and over my four years at Houghton, I’ve found some places that work best for me, depending on what I’m doing or how I’m feeling.
Hitting the Books?
First of all, being a college student requires doing a lot of homework, and for me, the perfect place to do that is in the campus coffee shop, Java 101. I set up near an outlet, bring an apple and a mug to get a coffee refill, and I’m ready to get things done!
If I’m working on a big research paper, though, I need resources. The library is the perfect place—it’s quiet, there are so. many. books., and I can grab a stack and take it to my library carrel. Because I have a senior seminar project and an independent study this semester, I qualify for my very own reserved carrel, so I can leave my books and mugs there when I need a break.
Need to De-Stress?
If the homework load is getting too stressful (which is inevitable sometimes!) I go to two places. First, I might go to the practice rooms in the Center for Arts, where lots of pianos are available for me to play. This really helps me relax, because I can leave behind the stress and worry of my work to make some music. The other place I might head is the KPAC, to work out. Working out is a great way for me to de-stress, since I get to focus on something other than academics, and push myself physically instead of mentally.
While these locations and activities might not be the ways that you de-stress, (maybe they make you stressed!) I’ve found that a change of location is really helpful to get my mind off the stress and on something else. Being intentional in finding another place to go to relax has been a real life-saver for me to combat stressful things.
Looking for a Place to Worship?
When I am looking for a group of people to worship with, I don’t have to look far. Chapel and Koininia services are great ways to connect with other through worship. My favorite place, though, is Mercy Seat, a student-led hour of worship that happens every weekday evening in the chapel basement. It’s usually a small group, and this way it’s a personal as well and communal time of prayer and singing. I was on a Mercy Seat team for a few semesters at Houghton, and I loved connecting with my teams and worship with whoever was there.
Want to Get Together… Or Get Away?
If I have a bit of free time, or I just want some company, I often head to the dining hall. Sometimes I’ll bring a book to read, or if it’s near meal time, I can find some friends to sit with and just share about our days or semesters. Because the campus is small, it’s easy to get to know a majority of the students. And everyone has to eat, so the dining hall is a great meeting spot. I’ve also enjoyed scheduling weekly breakfasts with friends, so I get to see them and catch up at least once a week.
Finally, the last place on campus that I want to mention is my room. I currently live just off campus in a Community Living Opportunity (CLO), but I think the same principles applied when I lived in Lambein (which is the best dorm btw). My dorm room/apartment is a multi-use space, which I mostly use for hanging out with friends and having introvert time. I try and keep the stress and homework out of my personal space, so that if all my other spots are taken, or I need some time to recharge, I can always head home for a nap or to read a book.
Finding a Place for Any Occasion
Hopefully you found this post to be helpful! Whether or not these places are for you, make sure to find the places on campus where you can go to be productive, to de-stress, to relax, to worship, and to meet friends. You won’t regret that you did!
Gena is an English and inclusive adolescence education major at Houghton College, and a member of the Class of 2019.